MANUFACTURING in Ballarat has suffered another blow with Mapal Australia to end production at its Sturt Street factory.
Mapal Australia managing director Laurence Treadwell said the company had exhausted all attempts to keep its special purpose tools manufacturing business in Ballarat open and will cease production at the end of November.
Seven staff at the Alfredton factory will be made redundant, finishing up on November 29.
The company’s retail business and head office, also in Ballarat, were not effected by the closure.
Mr Treadwell said the company had been hit hard by the contraction of the domestic car industry while the high cost of manufacturing in Australia and the high Australian dollar had cruelled export opportunities.
“The plant hasn’t been viable. Basically the company has not been making money for seven years,” Mr Treadwell said.
“I’m personally gutted. We’ve tried everything to make it work here but it’s all there in black and white. We’ve lost a lot of business because of the global financial crises.
“The high Australian dollar is a disaster.”
“It has trashed our overseas sales and the detraction of the Australian car industry and the general manufacturing sector has also hurt us.
“It is important to say Mapal is staying in Ballarat. It is still head office for Mapal Australia and we’re consolidating our sales business in Ballarat.”
Ballarat company Valenite-Modco began producing special purpose cutting tools at the site in 1973.
The company was renamed Valcor in the mid-1990s and was bought by German manufacturer Mapal in 2006.
“We’ve been supported with work out of Germany but it is not viable,” Mr Treadwell said.
“We’re working hard to help all seven employees find jobs elsewhere.”
Goodman Fielder will close its bakery in Ballarat next month, making 34 jobs redundant.
This year Alstom has cut 33 jobs, IBM has reduced its staff at Mt Helen by 30 and UGL Rail has made 11 Ballarat workers redundant.